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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Ecclestone not ruling out Arsenal involvement

July 21, 2007 16:00 IST

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone denied talks with Arsenal about a possible takeover bid on Saturday but said he was always open to offers.

"I don't know too much about that, actually," the billionaire told Reuters at the European Grand Prix when asked about a report in the Mirror newspaper suggesting he could be interested in the Premier League club.

"It's good if somebody is saying that, because maybe I will be approached and maybe it will be cheap," added the 76-year-old, who considered buying into Chelsea before the arrival of Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

"I'll buy anything if it's cheap enough," he said.

"If somebody offers me something that I think is good value, I'll have a go."

Ecclestone confirmed that his daughter Tamara is dating the son of former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, who left the club in April.

Dein, close to manager Arsene Wenger, was the man credited with much of the North London [Images] club's success over the past decade and knows Ecclestone socially.

"I talked to David obviously when they chucked him out, which I thought was a bit unnecessary," said Ecclestone when asked about any discussions with Dein about Arsenal.

Ecclestone, who frequently attends matches at Chelsea, said involvement in Arsenal could be embarrassing.

"Look at what a problem I'd be in with Chelsea if I bought Arsenal," he said.

Reports in the British media on Friday suggested that American tycoon Stan Kroenke, who owns 12.2 percent of the club, was preparing to launch a takeover bid for Arsenal.

The club's refusal to welcome Kroenke's overtures in April prompted the departure of Dein, who was sympathetic to the sale. Dein still has a 14.5 percent stake in the club.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said at the time that he would be "horrified if the club were to go across the Atlantic."

Saturday's Mirror suggested that an Ecclestone bid would be more acceptable by keeping the club in British hands.

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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